Having an air conditioner is essential to keeping your home at a comfortable temperature and humidity level. Therefore, you need to be sure it’s perfect for your household when buying an AC.
Choosing the proper air conditioner for your home necessitates a thorough understanding of the major types of air conditioners and their peculiarities. And it’s info we have included in this comprehensive guide to buying an air conditioner.
In subsequent parts, we’ll not only show you the prominent ACs available in the market. But you’ll also understand factors to consider during your purchase. So let’s get into the details of AC buying tips without further ado.
The Types Of Air Conditioners To Look Out For
An air conditioner is an appliance that cools the air in a home. It’s an appliance that comes in various shapes and sizes and removes and replaces warm air.
There are up to 8 types of air conditioners you’ll find in the market. They include the following:
- Hybrid / Dual Fuel Air Conditioner
- Ductless Mini-Split
- Central Air Conditioner
- Smart Air Conditioner
- Portable Air Conditioner
- Floor Mounted AC
- Window Air Conditioner
- Geothermal Air Conditioner
These ACs have different specifications. But not all of them fit your unique home cooling needs. Infact, most of them won’t suit your needs. So we’ll highlight and explain the best two for you as a Canadian homeowner.
Window and portable air conditioners are the two most common choices for homeowners in Vaughan. You can also install a central air conditioning system in some homes. It allows you to manage the temperature in your entire home using the same thermostat you use to control the heat.
Most homeowners usually only need to cool a single room like a bedroom or living room. In such an instance, a portable or window AC is worth buying.
Portable Air Conditioners
This air conditioner stands independently and chills a space by drawing warm air from within the room and exhausting it. The exhaustion is usually through a hose that passes through the window venting kit.
Some versions have a self-evaporating mechanism that recycles condensation back into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, others require water to drain from the unit.
There are other types with two hoses, one for bringing in fresh air from outside and exhausting heated air through the window. These are known as dual-hose models. Drop ceilings and walls can also be a passage to vent out air.
You can get a model with a hose and a window vent kit that can install into your window opening to release exhaust air. Using a portable aircon without a hose simply requires you to plug the device in, and that’s it.
However, if you place a container outside, you’ll have to empty it regularly, depending on your home’s humidity levels. Self-evaporating models are the most hassle-free alternative because they’re simple to set up and require almost no maintenance.
Portable Air Conditioners Advantages and Drawbacks
When buying this AC, consider these pros and cons as tips before purchase:
Portable air conditioners are fantastic if you desire an easily movable or transferrable room coolant.
But you need to understand something if you have one that exhausts air via the window. This situation will mean you have to detach the hose and fix it in another window.
Meanwhile, they’re also great for spaces with no windows, like a kid’s playroom or a basement. They can be huge and heavy, but they are much easier to move and store in the winter because they’re on wheels. A portable air conditioner is an appropriate solution if you need a quick remedy for a sweltering room.
If you have a small room, you may not want to get portable ACs because they take up space. Meanwhile, particular sources claim that they aren’t as good at cooling vast areas as a window AC unit. But there’s no conclusive evidence to support this claim.
When in doubt about a product’s efficacy, it’s good to check out online reviews from reliable sources.
Also, please note that if your residence is a rented property, you may have prohibitions regarding installing a window air conditioner. Therefore, a portable unit may be your best alternative. Additionally, it’s the easiest to cart with you when you relocate.
Portable air conditioners can be quite noisy. Therefore, you may want to get one with a timer so that it’ll shut off automatically at moments when the room is cool enough. However, you may just find the sound of the appliance comforting.
Window A/C Units
Unlike its portable counterpart, a window air conditioner requires installation into any normal window opening to bring cool air in and exhaust hot air out. Window ACs are much smaller and less visually distracting than the previous model.
Window Air Conditioners Advantages and Cons
Buy a window air conditioner bearing the following pros and cons in mind:
A window air conditioner is the best option for a tiny room or space. It doesn’t require any ground space because it’s a direct attachment to the window. So there’s no need to nurse concerns about drainage.
But sometimes, this AC has compatibility issues with some windows. Therefore, you may need to confirm it’ll work with your window.
For example, let’s assume you live in those ancient houses with usually tiny windows upstairs. It’ll be ideal for you to get a portable air conditioner. This choice is because buying an AC like the window one will require the stress of widening the window mount and deforming your wall.
Window air conditioners may be better silent and more cost-effective than portable air conditioners.
You can uninstall and store them during winter. But the uninstallation doesn’t come with the ease of portable ACs.
Related Article: How Much Does Residential Air Conditioner Unit Cost In Toronto?
BTUs in Air Conditioners
Further in this comprehensive guide to buying an AC, there are terms you need to know when buying any air conditioner. One of such terms is “BTU.”
BTUs (British Thermal Units) are one of the most significant factors to consider when purchasing an air conditioner. And this factor should be a priority check regardless of the AC type.
According to space size, air conditioners’ ratings boil down to how much heat they can remove from the air in a certain amount of time. So the more BTUs an air conditioner has, the more power it has to cool a wider area.
As regards BTUs, portable air conditioners are more in tune because window air conditioners dispose of warm air outrightly.
The Boxes to Tick Before Buying an AC
There are a few things to keep in mind and questions to ask yourself while selecting the best AC for your home.
The Cooling Capacity Of An Air Conditioner In Terms of BTUs and the Size of the Room
As previously said, consider the BTUs with the size of your space. This observation will ensure that the unit will be effective. For example, a window air conditioner may be an option if the room is tiny because it won’t take much space.
On the other hand, a portable air conditioner is easy to set up. In fact, you can start using it immediately after unboxing it. Therefore, it may be the best option if you have the space for it.
Where Will the Air Conditioner Stay?
Is there a particular room in your home that needs cooling? Maybe your children’s nursery, their room, or your bedroom? A window air conditioner may be the most practical option if this is the case.
But the portable air conditioner is a better option if you want mobility. It’s also a great option if you need to cool different areas, such as the guest room and kitchen.
Is it Noisy?
You need to gauge the noise potential to find the best air conditioner for you.
It would be best if you thought about how loud the noise is and whether or not it would wake up your infant or disturb a light sleeper. Consider a machine that boasts of its ultra-quiet operation if this is the case.
Also, if your windows are unusually small or huge, verify that the exhaust hose set-up for a window AC or a portable air conditioner will fit in your window.
What To Do With It After Heat Season
Typically, you can wheel a portable air conditioner into a closet or basement for storage. Similarly, you can uninstall a window air conditioner at the beginning of winter. When buying an AC, consider this factor because one requires a lot of storage space while the other doesn’t.
How Much Space do you Need an AC to Cool?
To chill an entire house, you can buy multiple window a/c units for each room. Also, you can get a portable air conditioner which you can move around and position to cool the space you’re in, depending on your needs.
However, if you only need to cool a few rooms, such as one or two bedrooms or a small house, a single unit should be adequate.
Even if it’s a bit larger, a portable air conditioner may be better if you live in a rented house. You needn’t install anything and can easily move it around if it’s on castors.
Cooling Costs And Benefits For The Environment
When buying an AC, you can’t overlook its environmental suitability and costs.
As far as upfront costs are concerned, window ACs are often less expensive than portable air conditioners. However, the latter has high BTU ratings capable of cooling big rooms or entire open-space floors of a house.
Furthermore, look for a grade such as an Energy Star rating or another environmental kind. This note will ensure that your unit operates efficiently, doesn’t use too much electricity, and doesn’t significantly increase your expenses.
Regardless of your option, your AC unit must favour your budget and environment.
The Installation and Maintenance Ease of AC
When buying an AC, look for a model with an evaporation mechanism that recycles the water back into the air. This function means you don’t have to worry about having to drain it all the time.
Setting up a portable AC unit is easy. Simply plug it in and place the hose to vent out of your window. The window part is even if you use such window models.
On the other hand, it’s an excellent option to buy and install a new window air conditioner if you won’t be moving it too much. However, it’ll involve some additional setup and eliminate the need to deal with water drainage.
In other words, for easy installation, pick a portable unit that however gathers water from condensation in a bucket. Or choose a window AC with a bit more difficult installation but with self-evaporating features.
Comfort Features of a Cooling System
To cool your child’s room and shut it off without going in to disrupt their sleep, you’ll need a remote or timer convenience feature for your AC.
Dehumidification in Air Conditioners
Is it a good idea to install a dehumidifying air conditioner in your house?
Dehumidifying capacities sometimes come with air conditioners. Dehumidifiers remove humidity and moisture from the air, allowing for a more pleasant temperature and reducing dryness.
You’ll avoid unpleasant odours, flaking paint, dust mite infestations, and mould growth.
This feature is a must-have to keep the air cool and remove excess moisture in humid areas. Even if you’ve got a central air conditioning system, it may not get to the lower levels of your home. A dehumidifier is a must-have if you live in a three-story house.
In some cases, a separate dehumidifier may be necessary if the air conditioning is on full blast only in one room. Even though a dehumidifier comes with a portable air conditioner, it won’t be able to remove moisture from other parts of the house, such as the basement. You may want to get a dehumidifier for the basement if you don’t have an AC unit there or a portable AC that can dehumidify.
Sometimes building management doesn’t switch on the AC until later in the year. Meanwhile, nature can choose to bring humidity earlier than usual. In such cases, apartment tenants can benefit from the dehumidifying feature of a hybrid portable AC.
If the humidity lasts longer than the average AC shut-off time in the apartment, this could be a problem. You never know when you’ll need a dehumidifier in Canada, with its erratic weather patterns.
Will You Need Any Accessories with your AC?
Whether an air conditioner will necessitate additional accessories is an important factor to bear in mind.
When buying an AC, sometimes, you need to get accessories. But generally, a portable or window air conditioner doesn’t require any additional accessories.
There are some things you may want to purchase though. They include a side panel kit to replace worn side panels and reduce drafts.
Also, you can get a window air conditioner cover. This accessory will protect your cooling appliance from elements and cut down heat loss.
When buying an AC, there are many aspects to keep in mind. Portable air conditioners can be more expensive, but they are an appealing option because of their versatility. In addition, they come with multiple features, such as a timer and remote control.
When it comes to cooling a single room on a budget, window air conditioners may be ideal. This option is especially for those who want a discreet unit with minimal maintenance and minimal noise.
For recap, the most significant AC buying tips to consider are:
- The BTUs compared to the size of your room.
- The installation methods
- How handy they are.
- General upkeep
- Environmental suitability.
- Energy efficiency
Buying an AC that checks all of these criteria will ensure you get what you want.
Related Article: Central Air Conditioner Prices in Vaughan
Buying an AC as a homeowner can help you manage the summer heat and humidity. With portable or window air conditioners, people living in apartments or smaller homes can keep cool in the summer. However, people who live in larger homes may prefer to use a central air conditioner to stay cool.
Above, we’ve provided a list of buying tips to find the right AC for your home. And if you do need expert help with air-con installation, our specialists at ALP Heating can help. We have multiple years of experience installing different AC systems in homes and office buildings across Vaughan.
Let us do the hard work of helping you stay cool during the hot summer months. Call us today!